As grassroots efforts and strategies were being honed by Here We Buy and Crown Downtown factions for the upcoming NBA-TV televised game, scheduled for February 9, the plug was unexpectedly pulled on the game, prompting some to wonder why the coverage was cancelled. While it no longer shows up on the team schedule, it still is listed on the PDF down loadable version.
It could be something as mundane as the fact the team has been playing poorly of late or relatively poor attendance by hometown fans this season. Additionally, there could be little interest by fans nationally to watch what has been a struggling team. The NBA wants to keep its ratings high; so, this may be all there is to it.
It does spark speculation as to why, especially considering the political climate in Sacramento, with efforts to try to keep their team. A nationally televised game by the NBA-TV keeps the conversation going, provides an avenue for the voice of a community to express themselves on a national stage, especially since the cause seems misunderstood by those who haven’t followed the story closely. The nationally televised game provides a face to the thousands of Sacramento Kings fans who have been pulling so long to keep their team in Sacramento.
It is natural to question the timing of the decision by the NBA. It feels uncomfortably like the NBA is pulling the plug on the team in Sacramento, way too prophetic for the likes of folks here – symbolic of “lights out.” The NBA has not responded to our inquiry for its decision, but it is reasonable to think we may not learn more about the issue until Monday. Until then, it still feels like a blow to a community still reeling from the news the team might be purchased by a Seattle group.
The decision of whether the Sacramento Kings will remain in Sacramento will be decided far away behind closed doors, among the NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA team owners, interested parties and their representatives. The whole issue could be pushed back, while minority owners make a case of right of first refusal to bid on the team. There are a number of hurdles to cross over, but one has to wonder if part of the decision was to silence a community while main players work behind the scenes. While the coverage for the February 9 game will not be a major factor in the high stakes game involving the sale of an NBA franchise, for local fans, pulling the plug couldn’t come at a worse time.